The executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta, says Nigerians made about 34 million emergency calls between January and August 2021.
Danbatta disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at the 17th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference with the theme, ‘Media in Times of Crisis: Resolving Conflict, Achieving Consensus.’
He said the calls via emergency number 112 were processed through the commission’s emergency call centres (ECC).
The ECC project is the brainchild of the NCC to enable easy communication by Nigerians with emergency first responders such as police, fire service, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), ambulance, among others, by dialling the three-digit toll-free number 112.
The NCC boss said the commission had established functional ECCs in 23 states and the federal capital territory (FCT).
According to him, the centres have been transforming lives and helping many citizens in handling emergencies through instant dispatch of emergency calls received to response agencies.
“In addition to the 23 already established and functioning ECCs, the commission will soon activate ECCs in nine more states, with an auspicious projection to inaugurate similar projects in the remaining four states by ending of 2022, thereby having an ECC per state and in the FCT, in line with the federal government’s directive,” he said.
Danbatta recalled that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, over 1,500 calls bordering on coronavirus-related issues were received and processed by the ECCs.
He explained that the centres provided a platform for the public to seek life-saving information and support on COVID-19 related cases by dialling “112” from any network.
“More remarkably, Nigerians have become more aware of and are using the 122 emergency number,” he added.
“Between January and August 2021, about 34 million calls were made by Nigerians, who were seeking succour during emergencies or under any circumstance posing security issue and unrest within their communities.”